Why use questions?
- helps them reflect on their own situations/feeling/lives
- allows them to hear their own inner voices, rather than just yours
- aids in creating a deeper connection with you
- makes your presentation come across as more conversational: talking WITH them as opposed to talking AT them
- engages them and holds their interest
When use questions? Use 4T’s to Connection!
- at the beginning of a presentation or story
- Tap into their minds by asking a question using the word ‘you’ in the singular form, giving the audience time to reflect on an issue going to be discussed i.e. When was the last time you....or...Who was a person in your life that helped you or taught you…. or...What do you think is the number one factor that….
Did you note that the best questions start with the 5 W’s:
who, what, where, when, why....and how
Why? Beacause their minds cannot simply say yes or no in response when asked; they actually have to think of a person or situation
- then Transport them to where you wish them to go: a situation, a problem, a challenge, an obstacle by inviting them in: If you had seen this team when we were in such a state of disruption, you... or ... Had you known that the situation was so dire, you likely may have...
- during the presentation
- Touch base with them periodically to ensure they are still with you: How do you think the staff was feeling? or ...Can you relate to that? or ...What would you have done if you…? or...Can you imagine what was going through her mind when..?
- at the end of the presentation
- Turn the issue onto them with a Take away question, as in: What about you, when will you…? or What will your next step be, now that you….? or Where should we go from here…? or Which goals should be adopt to…? or Next time, you find yourself in a similar situation, what do you think you would..?
How to use questions?
- Rhetorical questions: Try to avoid asking questions that may have audiences mentally answer a yes or no in their minds. The best kind of rhetorical question, especially at the start of a presentation or story, is one of the 5 W’s as it actually gets them to reflect on something in their own lives.
- Questions to which you want verbal answers:
- First try to avoid saying: "Do you have any questions?" Ask instead: What questions may you have?" (the latter question assumes that they may have questions to share)
-If the audience is still reluctant to answer openly, try this tip: have them discuss with a partner, then invite them to answer aloud, or recall a story you told about something that occurred to you, and then have them respond about their own similar feelings about a personal situation or possibly a similar experience.
To recap, use questions effectively will not only help you connect to your audience but your point will be remembered and repeated!
Join me next month, when we discuss another speaking skill that will give you an EDGE over the average presenter!
Until then, successful speaking to you!